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Friday, March 31, 2023

Mo Donegal takes first place in Belmont Stakes

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Triple Crown legend Todd Plechter had simple advice for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. ahead of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

“Be patient,” Placher said. “I think you have the best final quarter of any horse in the race.”

Sometimes it is less

Mo Donegal pulled down the home stretch and grabbed Filmy Nest to win the Belmont Stakes, giving Plechter a 1–2 win and his sixth Triple Crown win, including four at the track on the outskirts of New York City.

“To be honest with you, we were a little bit confident going into the race today,” said Jerry Crawford, CEO and co-owner of Donegal Racing. “When he turned for the house, I was like, Forget about it. I know Todd thought he could get a strong last quarter mile, and he certainly did.

Read more: Rich Strike wins 148th Kentucky Derby over 80-1 odds

Mo Donegal completed the 1 1/2-mile track in 2 minutes, 28.28 seconds ahead of Nest and Skippylongstocking. Plecher, who lives on Long Island, added another Belmont title after victories with Rags to Riches in 2007, Palais Malice in 2013 and Taprit in 2017.

Rich Strike, a surprise Kentucky Derby winner at 80-to-1 odds, was sixth.

Mo Donegal beat a wide-open, eight-horse field without a clear favorite – We the People, a monster in the mud, opened 2 to 1 amid rain forecasts, but the race was called off due to rain. Reached 7 to 2 in time.

Mo Donegal entered the preferred betting gate at 5 to 2. We led a lot of the race, but Mo Donegal and Ortiz came out of the final turn and took charge.

The 3-year-old colt paid $7.20, $3.80 and $3. The Nest — which nearly became Playcher’s second film to win Belmont after Rags to Riches — paid $5.30 and $4.10. Skippylongstocking returned $5.60 to show. We finished fourth.

Rich Stryker’s owner Rick Dawson and trainer Eric Reid put the Kentucky Derby winner out of Preakness, with a look at Belmont, the first healthy horse to leave Pimlico since 1985 as well as winning the Triple Crown.

Reid said the team encouraged jockey Sonny Leone to try to push Rich Strike out, but the horse kept trying to get back inside – where he put a late charge on 19 horses to win at Churchill Downs. Rich Strike spent most of the race in last place and could not recover.

“I think we just made a tactical error,” Reid said.

Like Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was at the back of the pack in the derby, but the colt didn’t have enough kicks at Churchill Downs. He found it on Saturday, winning the 154th run of the $1.5 million race.

Mo Donegal created a winner from co-owner Mike Repoll, a local entrepreneur known around the track as “Mike from Queens”. He is also a co-owner of Repoll Nest.

“It’s a dream I’ve had for 40 years,” Repoll said. “It’s a race in New York.”

It is the fourth consecutive year the Triple Crown race has been won by three different horses, the first for the sport since 1926–29.

The race marked a return to form for Belmont after the 2020 Stakes were closed to the public due to the pandemic and the 2021 event was limited by virus restrictions to 11,238 spectators.

Due to congestion concerns arising from the newly built area next door to the NHL’s New York Islanders, capacity was again limited, this time to 50,000. Still, fans stormed into cars on the Long Island Rail Road and breathed life into the 117-year-old track with floral headwear, pastel suits, and the unmistakable muses of booze and cigars.

The reported attendance of 46,103 was much less than the on-field record of 120,139 set in 2004. That’s no surprise given the shaky weather forecast and the lack of a Triple Crown contender.

Read more: House approves bill to tackle doping in horse racing

The field was too low. No horses ran on all three Triple Crown legs this year, raising concerns that three races in five weeks might be too tight to keep horses healthy.

The Preakness winner, sidelined early voting, is expected to prepare for a $1.25 million traverse stake on August 27 at Saratoga Race Course. Epicenter, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, also left.

For $500,000 acorns for the 3-year-old Phillies, Matreya won a 6 1/4-length. Track favorite Echo Zulu scratches on the post on veterinarian’s advice.

Coached by Brad Cox and spearheaded by Flavian Pratt, Matreya ($2.60) ran the mile in 1:35.77, winning for the fifth time in eight career starts.

The heavily favored flightline went a step slower, overcoming an early traffic problem and cruising to a six-length victory at the $1 million Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Mile.

The victory kept 4-year-old Tapit Colt undefeated in four starts in his career. It was the first that he did not win by double-digit length.

Flightline ($2.90) was also aboard Pratt and coached by John Sadler.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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